I’m the youngest person in my very large family, always surrounded by successful and amazing and beautiful people who are constantly achieving things I could never imagine doing myself. As the youngest, it has been difficult to project my voice in the crowd. I know I’m loved, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. The only way I could find my voice was through the arts, and arts management has helped me so much. And even though I’m in the computer science and engineering school at Miami, it doesn’t change the fact that I want to use technology in the arts. It sounds impossible, but I promise it’s far from it. I hope to work in game design in the future (if I don’t somehow become a pop star that is).
Game design truly is the marriage between arts and technology. Whenever I tell a relative about my plans, they all ask the same question, “Why game design?”, followed by the same shocked phrase, “I wouldn’t have expected that from you”. It’s almost always expected of me to either join the medical field like ninety-five percent of my dad’s side of the family, or to take over my dad’s software company one day despite my constant vocalization of how that is of no interest to me. It took a very long time for people to take me and my dreams seriously – some still don’t. However, I’ve come to realize that the only person I need validation from is myself.
Dancing has been my main creative outlet for as long as I can remember. Without dance, I feel like I can’t breathe. It’s my escape. There was a time when I was injured and was worried I wouldn’t be able to dance the same way again. I even had a small panic attack my first time onstage after the injury. Even though some would prefer not to admit it, we all have some kind of creative outlet. The arts are always going to be part of our daily lives. Arts management taught me how to dig deeper into the art right in front of me. I’ve always been that person in class that doesn’t say anything during a class discussion unless I’m being graded on how much I speak. However, in my Intro to Arts Management class, I learned to speak without seeking a grade. I could express how I feel about art, an artist, even politics without being judged or ridiculed for what I thought and believed in. I was finally able to shut out the voices in my head telling me that I’m not smart enough, not good enough, and not brave enough. I’m beginning to learn more about myself without the influence of anyone telling me who I should be.
Lily Dholakia is a freshman computer science major from Lisle, Illinois with an interest in adding a minor in either arts management or IMS. She is passionate about music and dance – especially hip hop. She is a part of the fusion dance team, Nishaana.